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Ivory Aquino is Alysia Yeoh in HBO Max's Batgirl

Filipino-American actress Ivory Aquino is playing DC Films’ first major trans character


HBO Max’s Batgirl has found its Alysia Yeoh!

Early last week, footage of Leslie Grace (Batgirl) filming with Filipino-American actress Ivory Aquino in Glasgow, Scotland began circulating online. 

This week, it was officially announced Aquino has been cast as Barbara Gordon’s — a.k.a. the eponymous Batgirl — roommate and best friend, who first appeared in the comics back in 2011.

Her character was created by Gail Simone and illustrated by Ardian Syaf. Yeoh, a bartender and self-proclaimed activist of Singaporean descent, is DC Comics’ and DC Films’ first major trans character.

Aquino will join cast members Leslie Grace (Barbara Gordon/Batgirl), J.K. Simmons (Jim Gordon), Brendan Fraser (Firefly), and Michael Keaton (Batman), who is reprising his role from Tim Burton’s version of Batman.

Aquino, who is trans herself, is best known for her role of Cecilia Chung, a transgender activist in When We Rise, an eight-part docudrama miniseries about the history of LGBT rights advocates.

She has also appeared in Isabel Sandoval’s critically acclaimed film, Lingua Franca; Netflix’s Tales of the City; and Ava DuVernay’s miniseries, When They See Us

“Much love to Gail Simone for imagining Alysia into being, am ecstatic to bring her to cinematic life,” Aquino said on Instagram.

“And kudos to DC, Warner Brothers, and HBO Max for bringing onto the screens of the #DCuniverse a depiction of  trans folks that’s reflective of our existence in the world (or part of it at least!) and for recognizing how much fun we’re all gonna have with Alysia in the house.”

LGBTQ+ representation in superhero adaptations, whether on film or on television, continues to grow: from Alex Danvers and Dreamer in Supergirl, the titular role in Batwoman, Renee Montoya in Birds of Prey, to Loki in the Disney+ series of the same name.

Batgirl is scheduled to come out on HBO Max this year.

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Lead photo from IMdB